Detroit Lions Luke Willson's autographed jersey available to lucky raffle winner

An autographed jersey of Luke Willson, the newly-signed member of Detroit Lions who was born and raised in LaSalle, Ont., is up for grabs for a raffle winner.

Tickets are $20 and will benefit a scholarship fund for engineering students

The winner of the raffle will receive this autographed jersey of Luke Willson, the native of LaSalle, Ont. who signed with the Detroit Lions back in March. (Submitted by Charlene Yates)

The raffle for a Detroit Lions jersey autographed by LaSalle-native Luke Willson will help to fund a scholarship dedicated to the memory of an University of Windsor alumnus and NFL fan.

Willson, a former Super Bowl champion born and raised in LaSalle, Ont., signed on with the Detroit Lions in March. The raffle will offer his first on-field game jersey which bears his name, number and autograph.

Tickets are $20 are will benefit the Shawn Yates Memorial Scholarship, which was named after an university alumnus who mentored engineering students during his 30-year career at Chrysler. Yates died in July 2017 at the age of 57.

Luke Willson's autograph is located on the top portion of the '2' in '82.' (Submitted by Charlene Yates)

The university associate registrar and raffle facilitator — also wife of the late Shawn Yates — said she has been overwhelmed with the response to the raffle.

"I've had a lot of interest — especially after people have learned that this is the first one made for Luke Willson as a Detroit Lion," said Charlene Yates.

Before his sudden passing, Charlene's late husband was friends with Willson's father "for 50 years," she said. About a week ago, Charlene hosted a memorial golf tournament and was looking for door prizes.

Luke Willson holds up a Canadian flag after the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks won 43-8. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Charlene said she approached Willson's dad to see if he might be willing to autograph a t-shirt or hat for her to use as a door prize for the golf tournament.

"I guess Luke came back with something better than a t-shirt and gave me his first Lions jersey instead," she said, adding she elected to use the jersey as a raffle prize for her husband's scholarship fund instead of giving it away as a door prize.

The winning entry will be drawn Sept. 1.


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